Doink the Clown
|Doink the Clown|
Matt Osborne as Doink the Clown
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Doink the Clown|
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||243 lb (110 kg)|
|Billed from||Parts Unknown|
Doink the Clown is the name and persona originated by professional wrestler Matt Osborne in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and used there from 1992 to 1997, and sporadically thereafter. After Osborne left the WWF in late 1993, the character was played by five wrestlers in the WWF (later WWE). Osborne continued to sporadically perform as Doink until six months before his death in June 2013.
World Wrestling Federation
After making appearances in late 1992 in the crowd and at ringside, playing tricks on the fans and wrestlers, the Doink character made his in-ring debut in the WWF in 1993, originally wrestling as a technically sound heel. Doink played cruel jokes on both fans and wrestlers in order to amuse himself and put them off guard. Some of his villainous pranks included tripping The Big Boss Man with a tripwire, dumping water on Marty Jannetty and attacking Crush with a loaded prosthetic arm. He clashed with Crush at WrestleMania IX, a match which he won after the appearance of an identical Doink (played by Steve Keirn) from underneath the ring. Doink also briefly feuded with Randy Savage on an early edition of Monday Night Raw, and Bret Hart, after substituting for Jerry Lawler, who faked an injury, at SummerSlam in 1993.
Doink then turned on Lawler on the September 4 episode of WWF Wrestling Challenge in Lawler's The King's Court segment, making Burger King jokes to amuse the crowd and eventually emptied a bucket of water over Lawler. Matt Osborne, the original man behind Doink, was fired for re-occurring drug abuses, eventually leaving the gimmick (after bouncing through a few others) to Ray Liachelli (also known as Ray Apollo). Now as a fan favorite and with a new midget sidekick Dink, Doink was more of a comic relief character, but continued to pull pranks on other wrestlers (albeit more harmless and silly than outright cruel), mostly on heels like Lawler and Bobby Heenan. Doink and Dink also battled with Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon in a feud that culminated at WrestleMania X. Doink would later encounter Jerry Lawler again in a match at Survivor Series. In this match, Doink and Dink teamed with Wink and Pink to meet Lawler's dwarf team of 'little kings' Queazy, Cheezy, and Sleazy. Eventually, Doink became a jobber, regularly losing to wrestlers like Jeff Jarrett, Hakushi, Waylon Mercy and, in his final televised match in September 1995, to Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Doink reemerged one last time in 1997 at the Slammy Awards and was attacked by Stone Cold Steve Austin, amidst crowd chants of "kill the clown".
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Following his departure from the WWF, Osborne appeared (as Matt Borne) in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) for several matches as Doink in a blue and green clown suit, setting up an angle where ECW champion Shane Douglas criticized Vince McMahon for turning a talented wrestler like Borne into a comic relief character, and claimed that he knew how to bring out Borne's full potential. Borne then made a few appearances with Douglas as "himself", sporting his face half-painted with the Doink makeup. His attitude insinuated that he had developed borderline personality disorder from having been forced to wrestle as a clown; after winning matches he would dress his opponent in clown accessories to humiliate them. His ring name under this gimmick was "Borne Again".
World Wrestling Entertainment
Since 1997, Doink has appeared sporadically in WWE. Ray Apollo returned to play him in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven. On December 10, 2007, Doink played by Matt Borne participated in a battle royal of 15 WWE alumni for the Raw 15th anniversary special episode.
Played by Steve Lombardi, he wrestled Rob Conway on an October 2005 episode of Raw. On June 2, 2007, Doink, Eugene and Kane defeated Umaga, Viscera and Kevin Thorn on the 34th edition of Saturday Night's Main Event. On the July 12, 2010 Raw, Doink teamed with William Regal, Primo and Zack Ryder to lose to Santino Marella, Goldust, Vladimir Kozlov and The Great Khali, when he was pinned by Khali. On the July 2, 2012 Raw, he made a surprise return and lost to Heath Slater. He reappeared on July 23, alongside several other WWE alumni, to help Lita take down Slater on WWE Raw 1000, the one thousandth episode of Raw.
In early 2010, Osborne reinvented the Doink character to resemble Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight, nicknaming the incarnation 'Reborne Again'. The new character debuted on March 27 for ISPW in New Jersey. On May 23, 2010, Doink the Clown, portrayed by Dusty Wolfe, interfered against Skandor Akbar and his men Dr. Knuckles and Rommel. This caused them to lose the Wrecking Ball Wrestling tag titles. In retaliation Akbar called on the original Doink Matt Borne. Wolfe and Borne were scheduled to meet on Aug. 15, 2010, Wolfe would later no show the event. On August 8, 2010, Borne, as Doink the Clown, won the Wrecking Ball Wrestling Championship. On May 30, 2015, at MAGNUM Pro's Over The Top event in Omaha Nebraska, Doink (portrayed by Gary Withrow) participated in an Over The Top Battle Royal.
Wrestlers who used the Doink gimmick
Seven men have officially used the Doink gimmick. Six wrestlers (including two tag-teams) have used the costume for storyline purposes, at various times.
- Matt Osborne – the original Doink, left WWF in December 1993, died June 28, 2013.
- Steve Keirn – wrestled as the "illusion" Doink at WrestleMania IX and occasionally the "real" Doink at house shows.
- Steve Lombardi – occasionally wrestled as Doink at house shows and dresses as Doink for various WWE appearances.
- Dusty Wolfe – wrestled as Doink in the NWA and other indie promotions.
- John Maloof - wrestled as Doink in the WWF also after Matt Osbourne left the company
- Ray Apollo – also wrestled as Doink in WWF after Osborne left.
- Mike Maraldo - wrestled Scotty Flamingo as Doink on a Smoky Mountain Wrestling card in November 1994.
- Nick Dinsmore – wrestled as Doink on the July 31, 2003 episode of SmackDown!, losing to Chris Benoit.
- Gary Withrow - wrestled as Doink on MAGNUM Pro's Over The Top event in Omaha, Nebraska.
Wrestlers who used Doink's costume for storyline purposes
- Jeff Jarrett once dressed up as Doink to pull pranks on Dink.
- Men on a Mission and The Bushwhackers wrestled as "The Four Doinks" at the 1993 Survivor Series.
- Chris Jericho took on the persona of Doink in order to perform an ambush on William Regal.
- Finishing moves
- Entrance music
Championships and accomplishments
- Allied Powers Wrestling Federation
- International Wrestling Association
- NWA Southwest
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #26 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1992
- Regional Championship Wrestling
- Wrecking Ball Wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- "Online World of Wrestling Profiles: Matt Borne". Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- The Steve Austin Show, Episode 60
- "Doink's Alumni Profile". WWE. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- 1995 WWF results, from The History of WWE
- Matt Osbone's 2001 WWF match, from WrestlingData.com
- Matt Osborne's 2007 WWE match, from WrestlingData.com
- "WWF/E Vengeance results, from TheHistoryOfWWWE.com
- "Doink profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- Brad Dykens. "Brooklyn Brawler's OWW Profile". OWW. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw SuperShow - A.J. Lee gets the central focus, C.M. Punk and John Cena tease tension in their match against Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan, Jericho plays his greatest hits, Paul Heyman responds to Triple H again". ProWrestling.net. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- Oliver, Greg (April 12, 2010). "Doink the Clown 'Reborne Again'". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Martin, William (May 26, 2010). "Wrecking Ball Wrestling results from 5/23 featuring Skandar Akbar". Indy Wrestling News. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Wrecking Ball Wrestling results from 8/8 in Dallas, TX featuring Matt Borne
- "The 4 SMW matches fought by Ace Darling in 1994". Wrestledata.com. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Survivor Series '93 Results
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "NWA Southwest Television Championship title history". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1993". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- Doink at OWW
- Doink's WWE Alumni Profile
- Doink at the Internet Movie Database
- Tha O Show Episode 157 Matt Osborne/Doink The Clown Interview